Samsung Book 9 2014 Edition
Since it started selling PCs in the US several years ago, we've always been impressed with the design and build quality of many Samsung laptops, hybrids, and all-in-one desktops. The company's highest-end products have undergone a few naming tweaks over the years, and are now known as the Ativ Book series.
We reviewed a 13-inch Ativ Book 9 in late 2013, and it was a true upscale MacBook Air competitor, with an excellent slim, lightweight design and better-than-HD screen resolution, even if it was on the expensive side.
The new model unveiled at CES 2014 is the Samsung Ativ Book 9 (2014 Edition), which is a 15.6-inch ultrabook-style laptop. Larger-screen slim laptops are less common than smaller ones, but can be a great balance between productivity and portability.
The 15.6-inch screen has a 1,920x1,080 native resolution, comes with either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, integrated Intel 4400 graphics, and can be configured with up to a 1TB of combined SSD storage (the larger chassis allows for two drives).
Samsung is also including new audio decoding hardware that can play back lossless 24bit/192kHz audio, such as you'd get in a ATRAC file. Only a handful of online music providers supply lossless music, but it's an interesting pitch for audiophiles.
In our brief hands-on time with the system it certainly felt very thin and premium, and more ultrabook-like than similar slim 15-inch laptops from Apple or Dell.
The Ativ Book 9 (2014 Edition) will be available later in 2014, and while no price has been announced yet, based on previous Samsung laptops, it should cost north of $1,200.